TSX falls as oil slide, Fed rate hike risk weigh

Wed Nov 4, 2015 5:02pm EST
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's comments in support of a possible U.S. interest rate hike in December broadly weighed on equity markets and commodity prices.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 48.49 points, or 0.35 percent, at 13,661.82, with resource stocks particularly hard hit.

The materials group fell 1.4 percent and energy stocks slipped 0.6 percent, as gold XAU= slid to a one-month low and oil CLc1 LCOc1 fell 4 percent. [GOL/] [O/R]

"The market's reacted as if the Fed could raise rates in December, and as a result you saw a sell-off in both the U.S. market and in the Canadian market, you saw a sell-off in gold, you saw the sell-off in energy prices," said Macan Nia, a director for capital markets and strategy at Manulife Asset Management.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO: Quote) fell 5.1 percent to C$121.20 as a U.S. Senate panel launched a probe into drug pricing, for which the company has come under heavy scrutiny.

On the positive side, ProMetic Life Sciences Inc PLI.TO jumped 9.5 percent to C$2.54 after it said its plasminogen replacement therapy, currently going through U.S. clinical trials, had been successfully used to treat an infant in Germany.

Technology company CGI Group Inc GIBa.TO gained 4.3 percent to close at C$53.03 after hitting its highest since May 20.

Decliners outnumbered advancing issues by 143 to 93, for a 1.54-to-1 ratio on the downside.

(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and James Dalgleish)

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch